Usability Is Ageless: Conducting Usability Tests with Older Adults
- 499 Downloads
This chapter discusses the role of usability testing in evaluating technologies with older adults (aged 65+). We draw on our experience of designing and evaluating usability tests and on a critical engagement with the standard literature to present a set of strategies to design, implement, conduct, and analyze usability testing. Some strategies include choosing suitable locations to conduct the usability test, designing warm-up questions, selecting an appropriate usability testing technique (i.e., Co-Discovery), and using mixed-methods approaches. Additionally, we reflect on challenges encountered in the field from recruitment limitations to handling impression management efforts by participants. To understand and address these issues, we rely on cross-disciplinary insights and approaches from Human–Computer Interaction and sociology.
KeywordsUsability test Older adults Think Aloud Impression management User-centered design
- Abras, C., Maloney-Krichmar, D., & Preece, J. (2004). User-centered design. In Bainbridge, W. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction (Vol. 37, No. 4, pp. 445–456). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Beyer, H., & Holtzblatt, K. (1997). Contextual design: defining customer-centered systems. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Brown, J. (2014). The self. Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Czaja, S. J., Charness, N., Fisk, A. D., Hertzog, C., Nair, S. N., Rogers, W. A., et al. (2006, June). Factors predicting the use of technology: Findings from the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE). Psychology and Aging. https://doi.org/10.1037/0882-7922.214.171.1243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Davis, F. D., Jr. (1986). A technology acceptance model for empirically testing new end-user information systems: Theory and results. Massachusetts: Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
- Dell, N., Vaidyanathan, V., Medhi, I., Cutrell, E., & Thies, W. (2012). “Yours is better!”: Participant response bias in HCI. In Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems—CHI’12, 1321–1330. https://doi.org/10.1145/2207676.2208589.
- Draper, S. W., & Norman, D. A. (1986). User Centered System Design: New perspectives on human-computer interaction.Google Scholar
- Franz, R. L., Baecker, R., & Truong, K. N. (2018). “I knew that, I was just testing you”: Understanding older adults’ impression management tactics during usability studies. ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS) (Under Review).Google Scholar
- Franz, R. L., Munteanu, C., Neves, B. B., & Baecker, R. (2015). Time to retire old methodologies? Reflecting on conducting usability evaluations with older adults. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services Adjunct (pp. 912–915). New York, NY, USA: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/2786567.2794303.
- Franz, R. L., Neves, B. B., Demmans Epp, C., Wobbrock, J. O., & Baecker, R. (2018). Accommodating participant needs: Technology evaluation with frail older adults (Pending Publication).Google Scholar
- González, A., Ramirez, M. P., & Viadel, V. (2015). ICT learning by older adults and their attitudes toward computer use. Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research, 2015.Google Scholar
- Hanson, V., Gibson, L., Coleman, G., Bobrowicz, A., & McKay, A. (2010). A engaging the disengaged: How do we design technology for digitally excluded older adults. In Proceedings of DIS.Google Scholar
- Neves, B. B., Franz, R. L., Judges, R., Beerman, C., & Baecker, R. (2017). Can digital technology enhance social connectedness amongst older adults? A feasibility study. Journal of Applied Gerontology.Google Scholar
- Neves, B. B., Franz, R. L., Munteanu, C., Baecker, R., & Ngo, M. (2015). “My Hand Doesn’t Listen to Me!”: Adoption and evaluation of a communication technology for the “Oldest Old.” Proceedings of the ACM CHI’15 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (1593–1602). https://doi.org/10.1145/2702123.2702430.
- Norman, D. (1988). The psychology of everyday things.Google Scholar
- Norman, D. A. (1983). Some observations on mental models. Mental Models, 7(112), 7–14.Google Scholar
- Prieto-Flores, M.-E., Forjaz, M. J., Fernandez-Mayoralas, G., Rojo-Perez, F., & Martinez-Martin, P. (2011). Factors associated with loneliness of noninstitutionalized and institutionalized older adults. Journal of Aging and Health, 23(1), 177–194. https://doi.org/10.1177/0898264310382658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Quesenbery, W. (2001). What does usability mean: Looking beyondease of use’. In Annual Conference-Society for Technical Communication (Vol. 48, pp. 432–436).Google Scholar
- Rogers, Y., Sharp, H., & Preece, J. (2011). Interaction design: beyond human-computer interaction. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Shackel, B. (1991). Usability-context, framework, definition, design and evaluation. Human Factors for Informatics Usability, 21–37.Google Scholar
- Trewin, S., Marques, D., & Guerreiro, T. (2015). Usage of subjective scales in accessibility research. In ASSETS’15 The 17th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, (October), 59–67. https://doi.org/10.1145/2700648.2809867.
- Van den Haak, M., De Jong, M., & Schellens, P. (2007). Evaluation of an informational web site: three variants of the think-aloud method compared. Technical Communication, 54(1), 58–71.Google Scholar
- Van Den Haak, M., De Jong, M., & Schellens, P. (2004). Employing think-aloud protocols and constructive interaction to test the usability of online library catalogues: A methodological comparison. Interacting with Computers, 16(6), 1153–1170. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intcom.2004.07.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Waycott, J., Vetere, F., Pedell, S., Morgans, A., Ozanne, E., & Kulik, L. (2016). Not for me: Older adults choosing not to participate in a social isolation intervention. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 745–757). New York, NY, USA: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/2858036.2858458.